James Frey lied. We know that now. He's admitted as much. Frey took it on the teeth in front of millions a few weeks back on Oprah, the titular host of which he'd duped, along with other readers, into believing really earth-shattering shit about his ability to have a root canal sans pain medication and the exact way some tragic girl he'd been putting the wood to offed herself.
As Frey was being clubbed like a baby seal, blinking and dazed, by writers from The New York Times and The Washington Post, we wondered if he ever thought, "Man, has O never read a rock 'n' roll biography? Those things are chock-full o' lies!"
It's true. We read lots of 'em.
By far, the most egregious of the rock bio fantasies is Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, where, if you counted, you'd find approximately ten lies per paragraph. We took the book, opened it randomly, and picked the first lie we came upon on each page. We think a dressing down of Nikki Sixx is in order, Oprah-style! Our findings follow.
1. Page 207: Nikki Sixx
"It was so funny to me that everyone thought I was dead that, as soon as I returned home, I walked to my answering machine and changed the message. 'Hey, it's Nikki. I'm not home because I'm dead.'"
Fact: Despite his attempt at machismo, Nikki didn't find his near-death funny in the least. He changed his answering machine's outgoing message to De La Soul's "Hey, How Ya Doin'," which was popular at the time.
2. Page 210: Motley manager Doc McGhee
"Of course, Vince can't entirely be blamed for his behavior."
Fact: Yes, Vince can be blamed for his behavior. Entirely.
3. Page 303: Vince Neil on the death of his daughter, Skylar
"I drank, golfed, and passed out for what was probably another month. I was lost to the world. I put myself in Limbo: it looked like heaven and I felt like hell. One day I shot a 76 and became so excited that I scared myself. I wasn't supposed to be this happy. Skylar was gone. What was I doing? I was running, I was hiding, I was playing golf at a resort."
Fact: The paragraph above checks out, but conspicuously absent is Neil's love of badminton at this point in his life.
4. Page 247: Motley manager Doug Thaler
"Ronnie James Dio changed my life -- twice."
Fact: Ronnie James Dio has never changed anyone's life. Even once.
5. Page 23: Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx meet for the first time at Magnolia Liquor on Burbank Boulevard, where Nikki works. They both deduce that the other looks like "the rock 'n' roll type" and exchange numbers.
Fact: Both would more accurately be described as "the asshole type."
6. Page 39: Mick Mars
"When I was in elementary school in the '50s ..."
Fact: Mick Mars attended elementary school in the 1800s.
7. Page 43: Tommy Lee is introduced into the narrative
"Duuuuuude. Fuck yeah. Finally. How much room is Nikki going to get, bro? Fuck. Dude, it's bad, but it's all good. All fucking good."
Fact: Tommy's first "dude" should be spelled with eight Us and not six. The rest is generally correct.
8. Page 420: Mick Mars on the love of his life, Robbie
"She wasn't into drinking or drugging or nasty stuff, and, consequently, she has helped me stay straight and narrow."
Fact: No woman could physically bring herself to be with Mick Mars without the aid of drinking, drugging, or nasty stuff.
9. Page 78: Nikki Sixx
"I went to jail that night covered in smeared makeup, fingernail polish, and blood."
Fact: While generally correct, it should be noted that Nikki Sixx went virtually everywhere covered in smeared makeup, nail polish, and blood.
10. Page 98: After being harassed by cops with chants of "Nice hair, girls!" Nikki, Tommy, and Motley drum tech Spidey lined up and each took a piss in the rolled-down window of the officers' squad car, outrunning the cops on foot shortly after.
Fact: Okay, so, we're having fun with all this ... just taking the piss out of the Crüe's braggadocio, but honestly, come on! We've been pulled over and ticketed for running a red light on a bicycle; meanwhile, these obviously recognizable eyesores are able to lose the law in a crowd...after emptying their bladders in the back seat. Suuuuuuure. Please forgive our cynicism. Frey's got nothing on these guys.
Okay, we need to calm down. Tune in again next week, when we pull apart "King of Easy Listening" James Taylor's accounts of heroin addiction in his memoir Long Ago and Far Away and claims by Shane MacGowan in A Drink with Shane MacGowan that he once brushed his teeth.
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